Folding and cutting to create symmetrical shapes are skills that need to be mastered. Math  anchors refer constantly to symmetry so I am using the art room as a place to implement and encourage the student’s basic knowledge of symmetry.  This year kindergarten and first grade students made a simple Christmas tree using some of the math words.  Folding a small square for some kindergarten children is in itself a struggle, so when they fold and cut a symmetrical tree, wow do we have new skill.  I start the lesson by asking them to fold the paper and draw a diagonal line from the top corner to the bottom. We all learned diagonal that day.  They cut the triangle and from there they were given another square and told to repeat the shape.  One would assume that they could easily repeat this.  I molded all of this using my document camera so the fold and the diagonal line was larger than life.  In all they made 4 trees and most got it.  They recognized here symmetry of the shape and knew why the fold worked.  The next lesson I gave them the same size square in multiple colors and asked them to make a symmetrical shape.  Most of them began by folding the paper but were waiting for me to instruct.  I stayed quiet and said hold the fold and use their scissors to make the lines .  Again some of them took the scissors and enjoyed the practice.  Practice using the scissors while their little minds are creating is  fun to watch.  After a few minutes, I modeled the cutting to create simple shapes.  The students were a little worried that it did not look like something they knew.  I told them that all it need be is symmetrical.  Just getting the students to use the correct side of the paper can be a challenge.  Once they figured out the freedom of using the scissors on the fold, they were excited to cut lots of shapes.   Meanwhile back in the classroom, the students are focused on symmetry and their teachers were so excited that they knew these words!  I just smiled.  This week we continued on the symmetrical shapes to make a heart.  I showed them the heart and asked how to do this.   They all responded that you had to fold the paper.  I let them try to make the heart shape on their own.  At this point, they have gained some confidence with their scissors and they eagerly dove in.  Walking around the room, I find some success and some struggles with the shape of the heart.  I model the shape of the heart using the document camera.  Seeing the large heart shape on the screen, they can easily see what they need to draw.  Repetition and practice make these students very skilled. I was so excited to send these super hearts home  for their parents to see what they are able to do.  They walked out of the art room with a new skill!  I armed them with extra paper to make more hearts.

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